Volume 10 Issue 10 October 2015
The October 12th meeting was held at Spring Creek BBQ in Richardson and there were 42 attendees. Jeanna Scott made name badges and provided dinner coupons. After dinner MC Randy Mecca welcomed everyone, especially Scott Higgenbotham and his wife. Scott came on the advice of Advanced Prosthetics Research and will become a below-the-knee amputee on October 27. We’re glad he joined our group! We also were happy to see Mark Trotter, Wayne Briggs and May Shane again, back with us after a long absence.
Terry Hess and his wife, Deborah, attended the OPAF session on SafeGuarding in San Antonio, which was part of the AOPA Conference.
Doug Morgan was the instructor. He is an Ohio Peace Officer. He gave the following advice:
1. Be aware of your surroundings.
2. Do not walk at night alone. Have someone with you at all times.
3. If attacked, go for the throat, or jab your elbow to the nose, and for females, fingernails to the eyes.
4. Make noise. If you have a whistle, blow it.
5. Attract a crowd. Don’t make yourself a target.
On Monday, October 19th, Cameron Clapp, a young triple amputee from California, was a guest speaker at a joint meeting with DAN and the Fort Worth amputee support group at the Spring Creek Barbecue in Grand Prairie. He gave a fascinating presentation of his life, starting with being born an identical twin with his brother, Jesse. Through videos and photos he told the story of losing 3 limbs at age 15, and how he recovered his life and his strength with perseverance and resiliency, adapting to each new hurdle with persistence and encouragement from family and friends. His state-of-the-art prosthetics allowed him to get back to running, surfing, and any sport he wanted to do. It is extremely important for amputees to stay in top physical shape, for balance and stamina. But more importantly, you must always be grateful for life, with compassion and forgiveness toward others. He is a true inspiration and we were privileged to hear his amazing story and powerful message.
Randy Mecca talked about his upcoming Disc Golf Tournament to be held on October 24th and 25th and invited everyone to come and take part in this annual event. Call him at (214) 533-1983 for more information about the game and where to find disc golf courses. Randy will teach you!
Our next DAN meeting will be second Monday, November 9th, from 6-9 p.m. at the Spring Creek BBQ in Richardson, 270 N. Central Expressway Bring your coupons!!! Our speaker will be Norman Tougas, a long-time member of our group, who will continue the group discussion from last month, focusing on goals and plans to make our group stronger and more effective. We need members to be more involved in Peer Visitation and outreach to the medical community, so that no amputee feels lost and alone as they go through the stages of adaptation into amputee life.
Debra and Steve Kerper are traveling in Israel this month but they have planned several exciting cruises for the rest of 2015 through Easy Access Travel. Their newest offerings are a Caribbean cruise from Galveston and another cruise to Alaska. Please visit www.easyaccesstravel.com and click on Group Trips for complete details including dates, prices and itineraries. For more information call Debra at (951) 202-2208.
Thanks to our 2015 Sponsors:
Tommy Donahue’s Legapalooza Benefit
Strobel & Associates Prosthetics, Inc.
Plano (972) 516-9538
Hanger Prosthetics & Orthotics, Inc.
Dallas, Garland, Plano (972) 226-6496
Lift-Aids, Inc. Euless (817) 835-0035
Doug Brooks, Limbs for Life Board Member
M-Power Prosthetics and Orthotics
Dallas (214) 265- 5060
Synergy Orthotics & Prosthetics
Plano (972) 769-8344
Scott Sabolich Prosthetics & Research
Dallas, Oklahoma City (214) 382-9270
Advanced Prosthetics Research, Inc.
Plano (469) 241-1477
AllTech Prosthetics Burleson (817) 706-4976
Excell O & P Denton (940) 243-4198
David Boomstein attended the AOPA Conference in San Antonio and gave a slide show of some of the innovations in prosthetics, including the use of 3-D technology.
Norm Tougas was the moderator of a group discussion about how to make our group stronger, more active, and more effective in the amputee community. The discussion focused on our goals and plans for 2016, such as seeking out more hospitals for peer visiting, working more and/or finding new sponsors/vendors to speak at our meetings. We talked about connecting with the Disabled Veterans (sponsoring each others’ events), or have joint meetings. Shriner's Hospital was mentioned as an organization with which to form an alliance. We already have a Dallas Amputee Network volunteer, Lee Boyd, who works with the Prosthetic Department at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital, and we occasionally provide PALS (the support group for limb-deficient kids and their families) with speakers for their meetings
A lot of talk was about new initiatives and getting our name and purpose out there more. We talked about adopting a section of road somewhere as a litter clean-up campaign for the community with a DAN road sign. It would be nice for the road to end at a park and clean it up as well, and have a huge picnic afterwards. Could be a time we all get together outside for a cause and get some exercise -- just have a big day of it.
Many of our members have spoken to the group, and we welcome anyone who wants to relate their story to share what made the biggest impact in their recovery. Group discussions about phantom limb pain, acupuncture, the stigma of being an amputee, and ways to improve health have been covered in the past. We have members who have excelled in sports such as soccer, volleyball and basketball. Gina McWilliams and her team have won Silver and Bronze medals at the Paralympics and she encourages physical strength and fitness for anyone who wants to get back to activities they enjoyed before their amputation.
Norman invited everyone to think about supporting DAN by volunteering to visit hospitals and provide encouragement to new amputees as peer visitors. We have our own PV trainer, David Ahrens, so we can have a training session whenever we get enough people interested in taking the Amputee Coalition's 8-hour Certification course. There will be a sign-up notebook at the November 9th meeting for Peer Visitation as well as other areas that members can volunteer to work in, such as programs, special events, and community projects.
The Metroplex is huge, and DAN members living in certain sections of the city can form teams to go to hospitals and rehab centers in their area to meet with medical personnel, making them aware that we are here to help new amputees as well as those facing amputation. We also have 10 to 20-second PSA’s (Public Service Announcements) for radio and TV stations to air, to increase awareness of our mission and reach more amputees who may not know we are here to help them.
At one time we formed a separate group CHEO—Caregivers Helping Each Other, to address common problems encountered during an amputee’s rehabilitation. Often roles are reversed when the person who was used to doing the major household duties is unable to do so as an amputee. This change in family dynamics is hard to cope with and may cause undue stress. If some of our members want to revive this support for caregivers, we could form this group again. Any ideas that make DAN stronger are very welcome!
Randy Mecca’s DiscGames
The Annual Fall Flying Disc Festival was held Saturday & Sunday, October 24 & 25 from 10 to 6 at the B.B. Owen Disc Golf Course in Dallas.
Randy can teach you to play Disc Golf, and give you the tools you need to play anytime for free on over 200 courses in Texas. Go to www.pdga.com; use the course locator to find a course near you.
Contact Randy at firstname.lastname@example.org or call him for more info at (214) 533-1983.
Ellen Fernandes 972-234-5966
REACH of Dallas 214-630-4796
REACH of Plano 972-398-1111
Limbs For Life 1-888-235-5462
HIYH Medical Services & Repairs 469-867-8727